The 2021 French Open at Roland Garros is full of surprises, but so far many of them have happened off-court. Following the massive Naomi Osaka controversy, two-time Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova has announced her withdrawal from the event. Ironically, she said that she sustained an injury while on her way to do press duties.

Kvitova is the casualty of a freak ankle injury which she sustained on Sunday, as she was about to fulfill post-match media duties in the wake of her first-round victory over Greet Minnen. Kvitova is one of the competitors who were pegged to have a had a chance at winning the title. Unfortunately, her campaign has ended prematurely after the accident.

The player shared the unfortunate news through her social media platforms on Tuesday.


— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) June 1, 2021

The Czech star narrated that she fell shortly after logging a 7-6, 6-7,1-6 victory against her German opponent. It took a few days before she made the decision to withdraw from the event, perhaps hoping that the injury was something that she could overcome easily. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

"After an MRI and much discussion with my team, I have made the tough decision that it would be unwise to play on it," Kvitova, 31, said in the statement she shared on Tuesday.

"It's incredibly bad luck but I will stay strong and do my best to recover in time for the grass-court season," she continued. Indeed, it was a massive case of bad luck considering how she did not even sustain the injury on-court and not even in training.

Instead, the incident happened during her post-match press conference. Naturally, those who support Naomi Osaka's stance against press duties during tournaments have latched onto the news, questioning the necessity of the media conferences that take place during events. Kvitova, however, did not make any reference to the controversy.

Her second-round opponent Elena Vesnina will receive a bye to the last 32.

No one is more disappointed than Kvitova herself, who is still struggling to make a big comeback after her Grand Slam victories in Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. She started to make progress in 2019, when she reached the Australian Open final but lost to Naomi Osaka.

Petra Kvitova
Kvitova saved a match point in her first-round win AFP / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT